I would rather swim in a shallow pool with a hungry great white shark than have my blood drawn, so signing up for my annual blood panel takes a lot of guts. I stab myself 4+ times a day, making me an expert in my own pain management. I’ll be damned if I feel comfortable allowing someone else to stab me with a needle.
As much as I would like to talk myself out of this test – I MUST have the blood work done. The lab gave detailed instructions – Nothing but water past 10pm. WTF? I’m a T1D and shit can hit the fan in the middle of the night! Would that forfeit my appointment? I’ll arrive anxious, hungry and most definitely cranky.
My face in this photo sums up my mini breakdown before going to bed. I’m an intelligent, somewhat rational woman so why does this 30 second, uncomfortable moment make me freak out? I started to think back to the Children’s Hospital days which surfaced quite a few unpleasant memories when they couldn’t find a vein. No disrespect to the wonderful nursing staff, but this experience(s) is undoubtedly the root of my fear.
I don’t foresee signing up to donate blood or volunteering to be a practice patient at the hospital, but I’ve come up with a few tips that help me survive having my blood drawn.
- I make it clear from the moment I walk in – I AM SCARED. The nursing staff thus far has been understanding.
- I drink plenty of water before, during and after.
- I make jokes about losing weight through excessive sweating during the process.
- I kindly request they engage me in conversation.
- I usually end up ranting about inappropriate travel stories or my sex life. It’s amazing what takes my mind off of the 2 inch needle sucking the life out of me, but chatting seems to help.
- I NEVER look at the needle and try not to focus on the number of vials being drawn.
After sharing my darkest secrets, the needle is soon replaced with a cotton ball and painful piece of tape. I take a deep breath. It’s over. Once again, I’ve survived and can openly admit it didn’t hurt all that much. This experience confirms the mind is incredibly powerful and is my biggest roadblock. Maybe I should work on a few affirmations, breathing techniques or whatever before next year. I’ll keep you posted.
Do you share the same fear of having blood drawn? Please share your tips in the comment box below or on our FB page.